Singer Ngọc Châm, producer of the Tứ Ân concert, discusses the event at a press conference in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of the Hà Nội Opera House
HÀ NỘI — An art performance honouring filial piety and Buddhist philosophy will take place on August 16 at the Hà Nội Opera House.
The event will celebrate the Vu Lan Festival (or Trung Nguyên Festival), a Buddhist event that emerged long ago in Việt Nam. Every year, the festival takes place on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. This year, it falls on August 15.
With the theme Tứ Ân (Four Types of Gratitude), the programme calls for people to pay gratitude to the country, the Buddha, their parents and people. According to Buddhist philosophy, each person should remember these four types of gratitude to live as a good person and spread good things in life.
The concert will gather leading artists of the northern region who are professionals in various musical genres such as Tân Nhàn, Tuấn Anh, Thu Hằng, Bích Hồng, Nguyễn Quang Long and Đình Cương.
Nhàn will perform songs about motherhood and Anh will pay respect to the country. Long and Xẩm Hà Thành Group will perform traditional xẩm (blind buskers’ singing) music and chèo (traditional operetta). Cương will present instrumental music.
The concert will open with a performance by monks and all the artists. They will cite the Great Compassion Mantra, one of the most popular and significant in Buddhism, to honour the religion and its humane philosophy.
Singer Tân Nhàn, head of the organising board, revealed that Thích Minh Hiền, a member of the central committee of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha, will supervise the concert’s content.
“This is a special concert with both a solemn atmosphere and practical philosophy that calls people to do good things in life,” said Nhàn. “It can be said that the concert is the combination of elements relating to religion and life.”
Singer Ngọc Châm will serve as the producer of the concert, which is directed by Phạm Hoàng Giang. It will also include dancers, a choir and a symphony orchestra.
It is the belief of many Vietnamese people, as well as people around the world who share the same customs, that on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, the gates of hell open and the souls of the dead can come back to their home. It’s an occasion for families to spend time together and express gratitude to their ancestors and parents. People also go to pagodas to pray for peace for dead people.
Hiền said he appreciated the initiative and efforts of the artists to organise the concert. He said he expected the performance to help bring Buddhist ideology closer to the people and spread the values of the religion through the language of art.
Artists participating in the concert will receive no pay. All of the proceeds from selling tickets will go to charity. Ticket prices range from VNĐ500,000-3 million (US$25-150). — VNS